March 2024 Newsletter

Newsletter banner | Oklahoma ABLE Tech | Making Life Accessible for Oklahomans of All Ages and Abilities

National AT Awareness Day is April 17!

Blue graphic with text, "Happy National Assistive Technology Awareness Day. Oklahoma ABLE Tech." There are three clipart people with different disabilities.

According to the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP), National Assistive Technology (AT) Awareness Day commemorates the importance and vital role AT plays in the lives of people with disabilities and older adults. This day reinforces the necessary support and funding the federal government provides to ensure people receive the assistive technology necessary to engage in education, employment, and community living.

The day also recognizes the leadership of the Assistive Technology Act programs whose teams strive to help millions of individuals acquire low-cost and often no-cost AT in all 50 states and territories.

Assistive technology allows individuals with disabilities and older adults to be included in their communities and in inclusive classrooms and workplaces and these devices are necessities, not luxury items.

Join us in celebrating National AT Awareness Day on April 17, 2024!

Oklahoma ABLE Tech National Rankings for Federal Fiscal Year 2023 (FFY23)

We are proud to report the following rankings for FFY23 (October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023) as compared to the other 55 state or territory Assistive Technology (AT) Act Programs:

State Level AT Act Programs

Trophy icon with a silhouette of the state of Oklahoma in the center

  • Device Loan Program: #2 of 56 programs participating. We loaned a total of 4,350 AT devices.
  • Device Demonstration Program: #1 of 56 programs participating. We completed 8,504 AT device demonstrations for 14,431 people.
  • Financial Loan Program: #1 of 28 programs participating. We fulfilled loans for 260 durable medical equipment (DME) or AT devices worth $1,161,687.
  • Device Reutilization Program: #20 of 52 programs participating. We refurbished and redistributed 1,411 pieces of DME or AT.
  • Device Exchange Program: #3 of 25 programs participating. We facilitated 300 exchanged devices.

State Leadership AT Act Programs

  • Training: #7 of 56 programs participating. 3,263 individuals participated in an ABLE Tech training activity.
  • Information and Assistance (I&A): #5 of 56 programs participating. We completed 16,492 I&A activities.

Assistive Technology (AT) Highlights

April is Occupational Therapy (OT) Month, intended to honor the vital work of OTs. Check out these AT devices chosen by our Occupational Therapy Assistant, Amy Woods, from the Learning, Cognition, and Development and Daily Living categories that can be used to help people regain independence in all areas of their lives.

  • Cosmo Explore Bundle - These buttons help teach cause and effect, amongst other skills. The activities were designed by teachers and occupational, physical, and speech & language therapists.
  • Guided Hands - This device enables people with limited fine motor skills to write, draw, and paint as well as type and scroll on a tablet or a computer.
  • Active Hands - These gloves gently, yet firmly hold an individual's hand into a gripping shape, enabling a tight grip.
  • Liftware Level- This device is designed to counteract the effects of tremors and shaky hands that may be related to conditions like Parkinson's, allowing individuals to pick up food independently. 

The Guided Hands, Cosmos Bundle, and Active Hands devices are arranged on a table.
Liftware Level not pictured.

Budgeting Tips from the Financial Loan Team:

Budgeting is an important tool that can help manage your money. A budget is a plan that estimates income and expenses over a period of time, typically monthly. Preparing a monthly budget can help you know what you must spend your money on during the month and what funds you have left over for other things.  It can also be a great tool to help you to meet financial goals. If you're not sure where to get started, check out the following resources: 

Do you have questions about financial education resources or need to purchase Assistive Technology (AT) or Durable Medical Equipment (DME)? Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s low-interest Financial Loan Program can assist. To apply for a loan, go to the Financial Loan Program webpage or visit the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation website. 

Be Like Mike (and donate DME!)

Mike, Terri, and Natalie stand in front of Mike's open truck bed, which is full of shower chairs, walkers, and other DME.

Mike frequently donates durable medical equipment (DME) to our Device Reutilization Program, giving the gift of DME to many Oklahomans in need. Mike visits local resale shops and other places around Stillwater with the mission of collecting gently used equipment to get it in the hands of people who need it. By coordinating with Oklahoma ABLE Tech staff, Mike is assured that the equipment is matched appropriately (and in proper working order) to individuals who need it. 

Thank you, Mike, for helping us make life accessible to Oklahomans of all ages and abilities! 

Our Device Reutilization Program gives donated DME a second life by refurbishing the devices and providing them to the best-matched Oklahoman, free of charge. DME includes devices like four-wheeled walkers, wheelchairs, blood pressure monitors, and more!

ABLE Tech has several partner drop-off locations across the state! Please give these organizations a call before dropping by. Their contact information can be found on the Device Drop-Off Locations webpage: 

  • Entrusted Hearts in Tulsa 
  • COEDD Area Agency on Aging in Shawnee 
  • Christ for Humanity in Tulsa 
  • Special Education Resolution Center in Tulsa 
  • The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital in Bethany 
  • KEDDO Area Agency on Aging in Wilburton 
  • Lawton Public Library in Lawton 
  • Larry’s Home Oxygen in Enid 

These partners help us by “holding” equipment in their facilities in between regularly scheduled pick-ups.  

Other ways to donate are: 

  1. Complete the online donation form 
  2. Text “Donate” to 833-751-9128 
  3. Call us at 800-257-1705 
  4. Drop an item off at either of our ABLE Tech locations in Stillwater or Oklahoma City 

We want to make donating items to the program as easy as possible, as the Device Reutilization Program is 100% donation-based. Visit the Device Reutilization Program webpage to learn more about the program and how it impacts Oklahomans. 

Vending iPad Program Success Story - Maria A.

Maria and her client smile at the camera. The young boy is holding his iPad, which is in a red and black protective case.

Maria recently helped her client acquire his own Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. Maria is a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) who attended Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Empowering Voices: Effective AAC Evaluations workshop last spring, where she learned more about the AAC evaluation process and how she can help individuals acquire their own speech communication devices. Maria’s client acquired his device through the Oklahoma ABLE Tech Vending iPad program. 

Oklahoma ABLE Tech collaborates with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) to be a durable medical equipment (DME) provider of vending iPads, apps, and durable cases as speech-generating devices (SGD) to eligible members of ALL ages. 

Maria completed an AAC evaluation for her client and recommended the Proloquo2Go AAC app on an iPad for him. She completed and submitted all the requirements set by the OHCA and successfully received the device from ABLE Tech. 

Since receiving his own device, Maria’s client is now better able to communicate during times of confusion, or when he is misunderstood!  

“The ABLE Tech team did amazing with my request,” Maria said. “Everything was completed promptly, and the communication thought out the process was amazing.” 

Learn more about Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s Vending iPad program and requirements to request ANY speech-generating device from SoonerCare – including those from Apple (iPad and app), Prentke Romich Company (PRC), Saltillo, and Tobii Dynavox, etc. on the SoonerCare-Provider for Speech –Generating Devices webpage.

Learn to Make Accessible Video Content

We just wrapped up our annual TechAccess Oklahoma conference, and now we're editing the video recordings so we can post them for you all to view! Video editing includes things like trimming excess content and merging multiple feeds, but it also includes making sure the videos are accurately described (when necessary) and captioned. We thought this was a good opportunity to share a few resources you can use to learn to make your videos accessible! 

Lyssa recently recorded a webinar with our partner, The AT3 Center, called  Making Accessible Videos. During the webinar, she gives tips on recording video content, describing the video, and captioning the video. Brent also wrote a great blog article on captioning videos that will help you learn how to caption your videos appropriately. Join us in making sure the video content you produce is inclusive to all!

SERC Update - Due Process Guidance

Due Process is one of multiple options for dispute resolution in special education, but most people do not realize the complexities involved in such a filing. While it might seem easy to file a due process request (it's only a couple of pages to fill out, what could be so hard?!), what follows the filing often feels daunting, overwhelming, and just plain exhausting for all parties involved. In order to better prepare those considering due process, SERC has plenty of guidance on things to know before you file, including alternate dispute resolution options, and a recent webinar series on due process. SERC is always here to help schools or families discuss considerations for dispute resolution and ensure everyone is fully informed to make the best choice for their situation.

The webinar series is broken into three parts, intended to help prepare those who may be considering filing this particular complaint request: (1.) initial considerations; (2.) preparing for the hearing; and (3.) the hearing itself. Visit the archived section of our Wisdom Wednesdays webpage to watch this series, and make sure to use SERC as your "phone a friend" option when you have questions about special education dispute resolution!

SERC’s mission is to help school districts and parents resolve disputes at the earliest stage possible. To learn more about SERC, visit their website. 

Oklahoma AT Center Locations and Partners

Oklahoma ABLE Tech and its partners operate device demonstration and loan programs to increase access to AT.

  • Bethany Children's Health Center
    Bethany, 405-789-6711
  • Handicapped Vehicle Services Unlimited
    Tulsa, 918-622-8400
  • Indian Nations Council of Governments,
    Area Agency on Aging

    Tulsa, 918-579-9477
  • Kiamichi Economic Development District of Oklahoma,
    Area Agency on Aging

    Wilburton, 918-465-2367
  • Moore Autism Center
    Moore, 405-735-8478
  • Newby-Vance Mobility
    Guthrie, 405-518-0167
  • NewView Oklahoma
    Oklahoma City, 405-521-4880
    Tulsa, 855-811-9699
  • Norman Regional Rehab Services
    Norman, 405-307-1786
  • Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
    Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired

    Oklahoma City, 405-951-3400
  • Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
    Vocational Rehabilitation

    Oklahoma City, 405-538-7986
  • Oklahoma State Department of Health
    Pediatric Audiology Program

    Moore, 405-794-1591
  • OSU – Department of Communication
    Sciences & Disorders
    Stillwater, 405-744-6021
  • OSU - Esports Arena
    Stillwater, 405-744-5173
  • OSU - University Counseling Services Reboot Center
    Stillwater, 405-744-5458
  • SoonerStart
    Oklahoma City, 405-271-8333
  • Speech Pathway, LLC
    Oklahoma City, 405-652-9683
  • United Access
    Oklahoma City, 888-939-1010

OSU Department of Wellness - Accessibility Programs Staff

  • Todd Misener, Assistant Vice President and Chief Wellness Officer, OSU Department of Wellness
  • Allyson Robinson, Director of Accessibility Programs
  • Austin Bricker, Device Reutilization Senior Administrative Support Specialist
  • Richard Buntin, Fiscal Operations Specialist
  • Cameron Cheek, SAS Interpreting Coordinator
  • Carolina Colclasure, ORC Program Manager
  • Leslie Dady, Administrative Operations Specialist
  • Shannon Esmeyer, SERC Administrative Assistant
  • Allison Fennell-Conch, SERC Program Manager
  • Shelley Gladden, Assistant Director, Assistive Technology Core Programs
  • Brent Greyson, Instructional Design & Accessibility Specialist
  • Peyton Haley, Accessible Communications Coordinator
  • Joshua Hawkins, Assistant Director, Assistive Technology in Education & Department Head, OSU Student Accessibility Services (SAS)
  • Averie Hinchey-Lucas, Speech-Language Pathologist & Device Demonstration and Loan Programs Manager
  • Stephanie Hesser, Financial Loan Program Specialist
  • Rob Keiter, SERC Program Coordinator
  • Angie Larison, SAS Accessibility Specialist
  • Lyssa Prince, Assistant Director, Digital Accessibility
  • Natalie Rohwer, Financial Loan Program Manager
  • Lindsey Romero, SAS Program Specialist & Interim Coordinator
  • Louise Ruleford, Device Demonstration and Loan Programs Specialist
  • Brian Sargent, Device Reutilization Site Coordinator
  • Adam Thiel, Digital Accessibility Coordinator
  • Amy Woods, Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Kimberly Young, Device Reutilization Program Specialist
  • Michele Young, Fiscal Grant Manager

Please call 800-257-1705 for more information. The Oklahoma State University Department of Wellness is the lead agency for Oklahoma ABLE Tech. ABLE Tech is funded through the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and maintains coordination and collaboration efforts with partners throughout the state of Oklahoma.